In searching for muffins or a coffee cake to take to my in-law's for Easter breakfast, I came across Dorie Greenspan's blueberry coffee cake and thought it looked perfect. A whole pint of blueberries in a moist cake topped with buttery crumbs - how could it not be delicious! Then I got the grocery store and discovered that blueberries were selling for $3.99 per 8 ounces. I turned quickly the the blackberries beside them and decided they would be great as well, for a little cheaper price!
Lots of people make a blueberry coffee cake, so I am happy that I wound up buying the blackberries instead. They add a beautiful, purple-y color to the cake. I apologize for the pictures but I have yet to actually bring this Easter breakfast so I needed to sneak out a piece to photograph and then put it right back. I cannot wait to have a whole piece of this tomorrow morning!
Don't be afraid of all the steps that appear below. This cake actually comes together fairly quickly. I omitted the nuts in the nuts in the crumb topping as well. Happy Easter if you celebrate!
Blackberry Crumb Cake
Makes an 8x8 pan
For the crumbs:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 chopped walnuts (optional)
For the cake:
1 pint blackberries (preferably fresh)
2 cups plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (ground is fine)
2/3 cup sugar
grated zest of 1/2 lemon or 1/4 orange
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8 x 8 baking dish with cooking spray or butter. Place on a baking sheet.
To make the crumbs:
Place all the ingredients except for the nuts in a food processor. Pulse just until mixture forms large crumbs. Place topping in bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed.
To make the cake:
Gently toss the blackberries with 2 teaspoons of flour in a small bowl with your fingers. When berries are just coated, set aside.
Whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.
Rub the sugar and the zest together with your fingers in the large bowl of a stand mixer; just until fragrant. Add the butter and beat at medium speed until light, about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs, one by one, beating for 1 minute after each egg. Beat in the vanilla extract. With mixture on low, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk in the following order: 1/3 flour, 1/2 buttermilk, 1/3 flour, 1/2 buttermilk, 1/3 flour. Mix until you have a thick, creamy batter. Gently mix in the berries with a rubber spatula.
Pour the batter in to the prepared pan. Remove the crumb mixture from the refrigerator and crumble over the top of the batter with your fingers. Press the crumbs down slightly into the batter.
Bake 55 to 65 minutes, or until crumbs are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and serve warm or at room temperature.